Pasta Bolognese


“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren

If you like carbs like I like carbs, you’re going to be hungry by the end of this post.  And it’s a little lengthy…so you might need a snack. Or a glass of wine. Or both.  I’ll wait a minute….

……

….All set?  Here we go:

FIRST: the dough.  Since I was making homemade pasta, I started the pasta before the sauce.  Homemade pasta needs time to rest and dry slightly after being formed and before being cooked.

I made my dough in a the food processor.  TO BE FAIR: I have seen many chefs do this.  AND- the processor even has a “Dough” button, so you kind of have to use it.  Your basic pasta dough is flour, eggs, a pinch of salt and a little drizzle of olive oil.

Dough formed into a ball post-processor

Next the dough gets kneaded by hand for about 5 minutes until its stretchy and shiny.   Cover with a bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes.  Now roll out the dough to about 1/4-1/8 inch thickness.  Because I did not (yet!!) have a pasta roller,  I used a rolling pin and tried to get it as thin as possible.  Which took some work.  I told myself that having thicker pasta would just add to its charm.

Cutting the dough into tagliatelle

I cut the dough into wide strips which makes it, I think, tagliatelle.  Tagliatelle of random, inconsistent lengths, but tagliatelle nonetheless.  I separated the pieces and left them to dry on the counter while I made the sauce.  Other than the difficulty of rolling, this was pretty simple.

Drying tagliatelle. Charmingly rustic. Right?

NOW: hitting the sauce.

I used the basics of two different Italian recipes to make my Bolognese sauce.  First, this recipe from Mario Batali and this recipe as well.   By this point you’ve probably noticed that I almost always look at more than one recipe.  I like to find the commonalities that make a true Bolognese sauce versus the individual spin a chef may put on a recipe of their own.

In this case you find the common ingredients: bacon, red wine, onion, celery, carrots, ground meat.  And the basic steps: saute, sweat, deglaze, simmer.   Get it?

Start by sauteing and sweating the veggies:

Cooking the veggies til soft

Next add the meats and brown, then the milk:

Browned meat plus milk

Now you add tomatoes, wine, and cook for as long as you can stand it. I think I lasted a little over an hour, then it just smelled TOO GOOD.  You can also consult your sous chef, lingering veeeeerrrrry closely:

I think she sat right here, just off my right elbow, the whole time I was cooking. Well, except during the sizzling parts.

My sous chef seemed to think an hour plus was enough waiting.  So I tossed the tagliatelle, which was dry now, but not brittle, into a pot of boiling, salted water.

Boiling tagliatelle

Fresh pasta doesn’t take as long as dried pasta to cook, so watch closely.  Toss the pasta in with the sauce and serve with a little Parmesan on top.  Are you ready for plating?  You’ll be glad you have that glass of wine because these pics are hunger inducing:

Mmmmmmmm

And a little piece of what was going on during dinner in the Flyover House:

A little dinner reading: new issue of Food and Wine

The pasta had a nice texture to it.  A little more dense and chewy than a regular dried pasta.  I think foodies call this “toothsome”.  So: the pasta was pleasingly toothsome.  Also, the pasta’s starch was nice with the thick, slightly creamy sauce.  The bacon and milk add a silky quality to the veggies mix in the sauce.  All in all: delicious and impressively homemade.

UNFORESEEN BONUS: When you feed your Handsome Husband homemade pasta and sauce that contains bacon, inevitably, he gets good ideas.  Ideas like “my wife needs a pasta roller”.  Huzzah!

Also, I’m going to regularly start adding just a little chopped bacon/pancetta to my pasta sauces.   It added a richness without tasting too bacon-y.

Add that to the list of things bacon is good at doing.

xoxo Flyover Foodie

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2 responses to “Pasta Bolognese

  1. Yum! Looks like the perfect dinner for the cold weather we are having!

  2. McHumphles the First

    I think you should experiment using this pasta, the bacon, maybe a mushroom mix (oyster, shittake, porto, and cremini??) and throwing it together with a cabernet sauce and some fresh romano. Then, please package and mail to me! 🙂

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